The Washington Post
Since 2014, the flow of asylum seekers into the United States has skyrocketed. Last year, immigration courts received 160,000 asylum claims, a 240 percent increase from 2014. At this point, around 100,000 migrants are being stopped at the border each month. If these trends persist, 1 percent of all Guatemalans and Hondurans will have tried to migrate to the United States this year, according to the Washington Office on Latin America. The result is a staggering backlog in immigration courts, with more than 300,000 asylum cases pending, and the average immigration case has been pending for more than 700 days.
It is also clear that the rules surrounding asylum are vague, too lax and being gamed. The initial step for many asylum seekers is to convince officers that they have a “credible fear” of persecution in their home countries, and 76 percent meet the criteria. Some applicants for asylum have suspiciously similar stories, using identical phrases. Many simply use the system to enter the United States and then melt into the shadows or gain a work permit while their application is pending.